FOME Future of Manufacturing in Europe

Future of Manufacturing in Europe (FOME) - Projects

The Future of Manufacturing in Europe is a pilot project proposed by the European Parliament and delegated to Eurofound by the European Commission (DG GROW). The project commenced in April 2015 and will run for four years. It is comprised of seven sub-projects.

European Reshoring Monitor

‘Reshoring’ is the relocation of previously offshored value chain activities back to the EU and can be an important source of new manufacturing employment in Europe. Monitoring the evolution, magnitude and motivations of reshoring is crucial in understanding the drivers of reshoring decisions, to learn the way reshoring is implemented, and to evaluate the role of policy in encouraging this development. The European Reshoring Monitor is a regularly updated online database set up in 2015 to collect information on individual reshoring cases identified in media articles and other sources. The Monitor will run at least until the end of 2018.

Mapping of regional industrial policy capacity

Manufacturing is geographically much more regionally concentrated than most other economic activities. Thus, the regional policy dimension of manufacturing is of particular importance. While it certainly is the case that some regions do have the knowledge and institutional capacity to orient their strategies and instruments towards a sustainable economic structure and labour market under consideration of core industrial activities, this is by no means the case throughout Europe. The aim of this research project is to map the existing industrial policy capacity in selected EU regions, to identify elements and processes of regional policy design and implementation and the identification of good practice.

Impact of new game changing technologies

The project includes five separate studies, each one focusing on a (potentially) 'game changing' technologies in European manufacturing: advanced robotics, 3D printing, electric vehicles, biotech and the industrial Internet of things. The methodology is based on desk research, in-depth interviews and workshops where innovators, employers, trade unions and policy makers discuss the future of the technology in their specific sectors. Each of the reports investigates the possible impact of these technologies on production processes, working conditions, and employment in terms of skills, competences and tasks. The horizon of the studies is 10 years into the future.

Review of dual apprenticeship programmes

The project investigates the status of the current national apprenticeship provision, particularly advanced manufacturing, in five European countries, the USA and Australia. Moreover, it aims at investigating good practice examples at company level in adapting apprenticeship systems to new demands, restructuring and technological change in the advanced manufacturing sector.


Born globals and supply chains

This research project focuses on a subgroup of internationally active SMEs: born globals. These companies, which intensively engage in international activities briefly after start-up, have been found to outperform other young firms both in terms of their economic and employment growth. As currently little is known on their specific roles in global supply chains, and the effects of this cooperation on other companies, this is the main research focus of this project. Furthermore, the driving and hindering factors for born globals’ activities will be investigated, as will be potential support needs. The project is mainly based on qualitative case studies on born globals’ supply chains and an analysis of illustrative support instruments for SME internationalisation, supplemented by an in-house literature review.

Analysis of the task content of significant manufacturing jobs

This project collects evidence on changes in the nature of key manufacturing occupations in Europe in recent years due to factors such as technology (primarily) or institutional change, and their implications on employment, tasks and skills, job quality and industrial relations.​

Scenarios for the future of manufacturing

The project will, by means of global macroeconomic model examine, the employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile and task content) under various possible scenarios. These scenarios will focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress. The scenarios will run to 2030.

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